UFC 197: Jones vs Saint Preux – Main Event and Co-Main Event Tale of the Tape and Guest Panel Fight Predictions

UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux – Main Event and Co-Main Event Tale of the Tape and Guest Panel Fight Predictions
By PDG Staff

 

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones returns to the Octagon for the first time since UFC 182 when for lack of a better phrase he laid waste to current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Trying to rebound from numerous run-ins and issues with the law enforcement and the legal system, Jones’ return tonight was supposed to be his chance to recapture the belt that was stripped from him following his legal troubles as he was set to face Cormier for a second time. Cormier though, suffered an injury during training camp was replaced by Ovince Saint Preux. OSP comes into this fight following a unanimous decision victory over Rafael Cavalcante at UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson and a heavy underdog according to Las Vegas bookies.

In the co-main event Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson makes his return following a unanimous decision victory over John Dodson at UFC 191, his ninth win in a row. His opponent tonight though may be the toughest one Johnson has faced in the Octagon so far. On tap, the youngest Olympic wrestling champion (Gold Medalist) in U.S. history, Henry Cejudo. Cejudo will enter the cage tonight undefeated so far in his mixed martial arts career coming off a dominating decision victory over Jussier Formiga at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. So, welcome to the PunchDrunkGamer.com UFC 197 Guest Panel Predictions from fighters, celebrities, industry superstars and more!
 

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Jon Jones (21-1) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (19-7)
Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Title Bout

 
Wes Sims – “I hate predicting fights because in most of the fights that I watch I like both guys personally but if you are going to force me to pick… I’ll say Jon Jones takes back his title.”

Chris Bradford (Muay Thai Fighter/Owner/Head Trainer – Top Tier Muay Thai) – “Jon Jones will cut to many angles and be too obscure in his movements and I can see him wining via ground ‘n pound TKO in the 4th Round.”

Tom Atencio (2-0, Co-Founder of Affliction and Vice President of Affliction Entertainment) – “I think Jones vs St. Preux is a very dangerous fight for Jones because St. Preux has NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to gain. I’m sure he’s hungry and you just never know in this game, but I’m still going with Jones because I think he is and has been above everyone else. I think if somehow he loses it will be because of himself more than anything else. Just like Ronda Rousey (emotions) and Conor McGregor (arrogance).”

Lew Polley (12-7, Bellator MMA and BAMMA Veteran) – “I am picking Jon Jones. I think Jon has more big fight experience and has dominated the best so far in the division. I think his reach and wrestling will play a huge factor in this fight. I think we will have to see how Ovince handles the prime time spot… the lights, the interviews, the attention and the pacing of a five round fight. Jon has been there and has faced a variety of opposition. Ovince is a bit raw I believe but a super talented fighter.”

James Krause (23-7, The Ultimate Fighter Alum) – “Jon Jones via TKO in Round 2.”

Paul Bradley (23-6-2, Strikeforce, Bellator and UFC Veteran) – “Going to have to go with Jon Jones. He is much too versatile for OSP and so my prediction is a 2nd Round TKO for Jones.”

Ricky Lundell (Head Instructor University of Grappling in Utah) – “Simple, Jon Jones.”

Scott Casber (Takedown Wrestling) – “Jon Jones needs to take his Cormier frustrations out on someone, oh Ovince? Your turn.”

Jesse Finney (5-1, Owner of Finney’s H.I.T. Squad Gym) – “I think Jon Jones is hungry to show the world the best Jon Jones ever! Jon by 2nd round TKO.”

John Halverson (16-8-1, UFC Veteran) – “I’m going with Jon Jones for the win on this one. Jones has a lot to prove, and he is arguably the best p4p fighter on the planet. Plus, he has had a longer time to prepare for the bout, even though he had initially been preparing for Daniel Cormier. I think we’re going to see the Jon Jones that reigned supreme as UFC LHW Champion. Of course, OSP is a beast and could pull off the Rocky-esque upset. I just do not see it happening over Jones.”

Thomas Denny (27-21-1, former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion ) – “At UFC 197, both champs will keep their belts without breaking a sweat! Jon Jones will use this as a rust breaker. It will be a great fight and a highlight reel type win for Jones.”

Elvis Sinosic (The King of Rock & Rumble) – “This is a fight that had to happen but shouldn’t have happened. Jon Jones needs to fight, he’s been on a leave of absence due to circumstances beyond the UFC. He’s been away from the sport too long, he’s the pound for pound King. Jones needs to fight, he needs to fight Daniel Cormier. This fight was going to happen. While Jones was away Cormier stepped up to become to dog of the LHW junk yard. Now Jones is back to take that spot. But due to injury Cormier has had to withdraw. Now Ovince, known as OSP, has stepped up to the plate to take on the former champion and pound for pound King. He’s a raw fighter with superior athletic potential. He’s a future contender and if his skills continue to improve he could be a future champion. He has raw athleticism and knockout power. If Jones makes a mistake he can be put away. This is the best time for OSP because he’s fighting a Jones who’s coming off a long layoff and has had to deal with a lot of personal problems. It’s possible he’ll have some ring rust, so if you’re going to dethrone him, now is the time to do it. But it’s unlikely. In his time off while dealing with his self imposed adversity Jones has committed himself to training and regaining the championship which was taken away from him and never lost. He’s hungry to dethrone the current champ who many think is just the no.1 contender because he never beat the champ. He appears to be in the best physical shape of his life. I’m expecting to see a hungry Jones with a point to prove. He’s taken down everyone he’s fought. His standup is unorthodox and extremely effective. Though OSP has power, he lacks the wrestling and grappling to stop Jones. I expect Jones to put OSP away in under three rounds, most likely within the first two. This fight is a warm up for his rematch with Cormier who he has something to prove himself. Jones will win this Interim Belt Bout and then take on Cormier at UFC 200 to unify the belts.”
 
UFC 197 – Main Event Guest Panel Prediction Results:

Jon “Bones” Jones – 12

Ovince Saint Preux – 0

Undecided – 0
 

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Demetrious Johnson (c) (23-2-1) vs. Henry Cejudo (10-0)
UFC Flyweight Championship Title Bout

 
Paul Bradley (23-6-2, Strikeforce, Bellator and UFC Veteran) – “Johnson all the way. He will outwork Cejudo from start to finish for the unanimous decision.”

Scott Casber (Takedown Wrestling) – “This may be the Olympic Gold Medalist’s first real challenge. Cejudo will need to neutralize the ground game of the seasoned vet Johnson. If Henry can control the ground game he wins this one but it won’t be easy.”

Thomas Denny (27-21-1, former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion ) – Like I have already stated, at UFC 197 both champs will keep their belts without breaking a sweat! Henry is stepping up competition way to soon in my opinion and it is going to lead to a highlight reel type win for Johnson.”

Elvis Sinosic (The King of Rock & Rumble) – “Mighty Mouse is facing the best wrestler he has every faced in the UFC. And that’s the problem because he’s the best wrestler, not the best Fighter. Whereas Might Mouse is the best fighter in the division and arguably the no. 2 pound for pound fighter in the UFC. It is going to take more than superior wrestling to beat Johnson. Even though Cejudo’s standup has continued to improve and impress it’s still not on the level of Johnson. Also, Cejudo has had some hard weight cuts to make flyweight and has been seen to slow down in the third round. Johnson seems to get stronger as the fight goes on and tears through five rounds like it’s just a practice session. I expect Demetrious to put the pressure on continuously and beat Cejudo in dominating fashion and likely finish him within the distance, likely the 4th or 5th round. As an Olympic Gold Medalist, I expect Cejudo to give Johnson a tough fight in the early rounds, he’s a champion for a reason, but I think this title fight is just too soon and Mighty Mouse is just too dominant at what he does. Might Mouse will retain the belt.”

Wes Sims – “Like I said earlier, I hate predicting fights. I like Johnson, but I will say Cejudo wins the belt!”

Ricky Lundell (Head Instructor University of Grappling in Utah) – “Simply put once again, Mighty Mouse for the win.”

Jesse Finney (5-1, Owner of Finney’s H.I.T. Squad Gym) – “Demetrious Johnson via five round decision win.”

Chris Bradford (Muay Thai Fighter/Owner/Head Trainer – Top Tier Muay Thai) – “Demetrious has the experience and dominating style to win this fight points.”

John Halverson (16-8-1, UFC Veteran) – I have to go with Mighty Mouse just based off of actual MMA experience and the competition he has faced. Cejudo has the wrestling accolades, and his boxing has looked amazing as of late, but Johnson will win a decision.”

Lew Polley (12-7, Bellator MMA and BAMMA Veteran) – I am going with Demetrious Johnson. Henry hasn’t really fought at the level of DJ or been pushed like DJ has. I think DJ has a huge gas tank and more speed. I believe Cejudo will get frustrated and not be able to keep up with the diversity of DJ’s attacks. DJ is the best fighter with the least amount of attention. He is awesome.”

James Krause (23-7, The Ultimate Fighter Alum) – “No question, Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision.”

Tom Atencio (2-0, Co-Founder of Affliction and Vice President of Affliction Entertainment) – “I truly don’t think anyone in his weight division can beat Demetrious Johnson right now! I think he’s mentally strong and has always shown improvement in each and every fight. I’m NOT counting out the strength and will of an Olympic medalist, but If Cejudo does win, it may turn out to be a very long and boring ground fight!”

UFC 197 – Co-Main Event Guest Panel Prediction Results:

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson – 10

Henry Cejudo – 2

Undecided – 0

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UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux – Fight Card
April 23, 2016
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

Main Card (PPV):

Jon Jones (21-1) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (19-7) – UFC interim light heavyweight championship
Demetrious Johnson (c) (23-2-1) vs. Henry Cejudo (10-0) – UFC flyweight championship
Anthony Pettis (18-4) vs. Edson Barboza (16-4)
Robert Whittaker (16-4) vs. Rafael Natal (21-6-1)
Yair Rodriguez (7-1) vs. Andre Fili (15-3)

Preliminary Card (FS1):

Sergio Pettis (13-2) vs. Chris Kelades (9-2)
Danny Roberts (12-1) vs. Dominique Steele (14-6)
Carla Esparza (11-3) vs. Juliana Lima (8-2)
Glaico Franca (14-3) vs. James Vick (7-0)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass):

Walt Harris (7-4) vs. Cody East (12-1)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (13-3-1) vs. Clint Hester (11-5)
Efrain Escudero (24-10) vs. Kevin Lee (11-2)

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